Thursday, February 15, 2018

All four Washington D2 schools off to Idaho for GNAC indoor championships...

It’s championship week for all four of Washington’s NCAA Division II schools, as Central Washington, Western Washington, Seattle Pacific and Saint Martin’s head east to Nampa, Idaho for the Great Northwest Athletic Conference indoor track & field championship meet at Jacksons Indoor Center.

On the women’s side, Seattle Pacific and Alaska Anchorage are on paper, the teams to beat, as those two schools have been the only ones to win the conference crown.

The Falcons return the majority of the athletes that scored 124 points to win the GNAC title, but will have to hold off a well balanced Alaska Anchorage squad that is ranked #21 in the USTFCCCA Division II poll, along with #16 Simon Fraser.

The Falcons’ Scout Cai (above/photo courtesy GNAC), the defending pentathlon champion, enters the meet with a score of 3,709 points that is fifth in Division II this season. Cai is also tied for the GNAC lead in the long jump (18-3/5.56m), is second in the pole vault (11-7.25/3.54m) and third in the high jump (5-5/1.65m). 

Geneva Lehnert returns to defend her GNAC high jump crown, entering the meet second in the conference at 5-6.5 (1.69m).

Western Washington’s Jasmine McMullin looks to earn her third career championship in the triple jump, entering with the best mark in the GNAC at 39-4.5 (12.00m).

Central Washington looks for big points from four athletes—HarLee Ortega, Ali Anderson, Mariah Vongsaveng, and Halle Irvine. Ortega and Anderson are outstanding pentathletes who could challenge Cal if she slips up. Ortega is the conference leader in the long jump, and is second in the triple jump, while Anderson leads in the 400.  

Vongsaveng was an NCAA qualifier in the hurdles last year, and Irvine is the conference leader in the pole vault.

Central Washington’s men’s squad will be led by a pair of champions in Kodiak Landis in the heptathlon, and Armando Tafoya in the 35-pound weight throw.

The GNAC will provide a live stream of the championship meet beginning at 2:30 pm Friday and 10:15 am Saturday at

The men’s heptathlon gets the meet started Friday at 9 am, and Saturday at 9:30 am, while the women’s pentathlon starts Friday at 9:15 am.

NOTE:  The Great Northwest Athletic Conference contributed to this report.  TFRRS contributed statistical information.

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